West Virginia Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito presented the new Republican infrastructure counteroffer, “which consisted of an approximately $ 50 billion increase in spending on a range of infrastructure programs,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki . Psaki said the president feels the offer “does not meet its objectives”.
“The President thanked you for your commitment and your benevolence, but also pointed out that the current offer does not meet his goals of growing the economy, coping with the climate crisis and creating new jobs,” said the reading in part.
Prior to the meeting, several GOP sources said that whatever comes on the table would still be far from Biden’s seat. “There are no GOP votes for what he put on the table and the White House knows that,” a GOP source told CNN.
The White House has indicated that Biden will continue to negotiate with senators on both sides of the aisle to reach an agreement on the package. Biden and Capito will speak again on Monday.
Biden and Capito, who leads the infrastructure negotiations on behalf of the Republicans in the Senate, have been in frequent contact since the president proposed a comprehensive infrastructure plan.
Biden also spoke to Oregon Democratic MP Peter DeFazio, chairman of the House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, on Friday.
“The president also spoke to Chairman DeFazio to thank him for his hard work on key elements of the US employment plan and to offer his support for the committee serve that Chairman DeFazio will begin on Wednesday,” said Psaki on reading Biden’s appeal with DeFazio. “President and Chairman DeFazio agreed on the benefits of working with Democratic and Republican senators on an ongoing basis as the House progresses on infrastructure over the coming week.”
A DeFazio spokesman said the call was “very positive” and the president “congratulated DeFazio on introducing the INVEST in America Act,” a bill for ground transportation that his office said would meet some of the key objectives in Biden’s infrastructure plan.
Prior to Friday’s calls with Capito and DeFazio, Psaki claimed there was “still a runway” for a bipartisan infrastructure deal after negotiations passed the White House Memorial Day deadline for significant progress, but said that the runway is “not unlimited”.
“There are some realities of the schedules, including the fact that Congressman DeFazio will next week be spearheading key components in the American Jobs Plan, key components of the infrastructure that have a lot of overlap. There is a lot of interest and excitement among many Democrats in Congress about it. So it is not unlimited, but we have the opportunity, we will see how these talks go, “she said during the press conference on Friday.
CNN’s Phil Mattingly, Lauren Fox, Manu Raju and Betsy Klein contributed to this report.
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